[op-ed snap] Leaving no one behind

Context:

  1. The National Institution for Transforming India (NITI Aayog) is formulating a Vision 2030 document
  2. This document is coterminous with the UN’s 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), all 17 of which equally affect persons with disabilities as they do any other citizen

Inclusive development goals:

  1. The National Centre for Promotion of Employment for Disabled People conducted a seminar in December 2016
  2. The government, the private sector, and leaders from various development fields participated to take stock of the current situation and deliberate on how disability could be integrated in Vision 2030

How to go about it?

  1. The government, the NITI Aayog, and all the associated stakeholders should interpret the provisions of the SDGs in line with the requirements and spirit of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD)
  2. Disability is still seen as an opportunity for dispensing charity rather than as a development or a human rights issue
  3. The knowledge of MPs and State legislatures must be refreshed on the rights, needs and issues of persons with disabilities based on the changing disability landscape, the UNCRPD, and the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2016
  4. The NITI Aayog must invest effort in building awareness for NGOs, academics, civil society, the private sector, etc., in order to articulate a disability-inclusive development agenda
  5. Persons with disabilities must be seen as integral to the decision-making process and not as an afterthought
  6. They must be mentioned in the outcome metrics defined for each goal, target or indicator, and these matrices must elaborate specific strategies for persons with disabilities
  7. There must be seven-year checkpoints for ministries or departments to assess the outcomes
  8. Fair and adequate representation of disability groups during the consultation process is imperative

NITI Aayog’s endeavor:

  1. The NITI Aayog has mapped each goal to a nodal ministry and each target with the government’s key programmes and departments to make these targets accountable and realise them within a specified time period
  2. However, disability is an issue that cuts across several ministries; it is not just a subject for the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment
  3. There are 26 ministries where there needs to be a dedicated focus towards persons with disabilities and a specific cell to address their concerns
  4. Specific budgets need to be allocated across initiatives and ministries to address the needs of persons with disabilities
  5. The NITI Aayog too must have a dedicated cell which acts as a focal point and works with all ministries to monitor implementation and track progress across all initiatives for persons with disabilities

Data collection:

  1. The document must insist that data for persons with disabilities are appropriately collected, maintained and disaggregated
  2. This must include all government initiatives that capture any data related to population or human resources or human development, including employment, education, poverty and hunger
  3. While reporting from the SDGs’ point of view, the NITI Aayog must ensure that the process of data collection and disaggregation for disability must not be relegated to the silos of seven targets which explicitly mention persons with disabilities, or the additional six targets which mention people in vulnerable situations
  4. In addition, there are universal targets, which must also be achieved for persons with disabilities
  5. There are more than 85 targets across 15 goals encompassing more than 100 indicators where there is a need to collect, analyse, disaggregate and report data for persons with disabilities
  6. All data must be available in the public domain, and published in an accessible format and in a timely manner

Note4Students:

The overarching principle of Vision 2030 is to “leave no one behind”. The disabled citizens are anxious to learn how this crucial document, which will encompass the SDGs 17 goals and 169 targets, will be inclusive of their needs and aspirations. Important op-ed for mains. Know key facts for prelims.

NITI Aayog rolls out health index

  1. What: NITI Aayog on Friday rolled out a ‘Performance on Health Outcomes’ index that will rank various States on the basis of their performance on measurable health indicators
  2. It is meant to capture the annual incremental improvements by States, rather than focus on historical achievements
  3. This initiative is envisioned to bring about the much required improvements in social sector outcomes, which have not kept pace with the economic growth in this country
  4. It will be used to propel action in the States to improve health outcomes and improve data collection systems
  5. The health index will assist in State-level monitoring of performance, serve as an input for providing performance-based incentives and improvement in health outcomes
  6. It includes indicators in the domains of health outcomes governance and information and a few key inputs and processes

Note4students:

This index is important for prelims. Remember the agency which came out with it and its purpose.

Give tax breaks for digital payments, says Niti Aayog I

  1. What: Niti Aayog has proposed giving tax breaks to consumers and merchants for debit or credit card payments
  2. It has also suggested levying surcharge for cash transactions beyond a set limit to encourage electronic transactions
  3. Reason: Niti Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant pitched for encouraging e-payments for driving online commerce
  4. This would also bring in greater transparency and higher tax collection for the government
  5. In South Korea, the government promoted electronic payments by providing tax breaks on electronic transactions

Give tax breaks for digital payments, says Niti Aayog II

  1. E-commerce: Mr.Kant observed that e-commerce contributed about only 1% to the total retail market as compared to 14% in China
  2. It was pointed out that existing legislation does not recognise e-commerce consumers
  3. Niti Aayog recommended early enactment of Consumer Protection Bill 2005 introduced in Lok Sabha in October 2015
  4. And also updating National Consumer Helpline regularly for e-commerce complaints

Five-year Plans out, 15-year vision soon- II

  1. The current 12th Five-Year Plan will be terminated in the current financial year, 2016-17 in order to facilitate the 15 year vision document
  2. The mid-term appraisal of the 12th Plan is also not done though it was due after the completion of two-and-a- half years
  3. PMO has also instructed NITI Aayog to undertake outcome-based monitoring of all government programmes and ministries on a yearly basis
  4. Aim: Keeping a tab on the progress made and work done

About the National Development Agenda

  1. The agenda will lay down the schemes, programmes and strategies to achieve the long-term vision
  2. It will also deal with issues related to internal security, defence and external affairs (Planning Commission rarely dealt with these issues directly)
  3. Review: After a gap of every three years to ensure that it was aligned with financial needs and requirements
  4. For the first Development Agenda, the review would be done in 2019-20, in line with the termination year of the 14th Finance Commission

Five-year Plans out, 15-year vision soon- I

  1. Vision Doc: Govt has decided to get rid of the five-year plans and replace them with 15-year vision documents
  2. These will be framed keeping in mind the country’s social goals and the sustainable development agenda
  3. The first 15-year vision document will start from 2017-18 & NITI Aayog has been directed to prepare a vision document at the earliest
  4. Also there will be a 7-year National Development Agenda

NITI Aayog plans new planning framework

  1. News: NITI Aayog is working on a sector-based medium-term planning framework
  2. The medium-term growth is dependent on past performance
  3. Purpose: The new planning framework could replace five-year plans, as XII FYP will end in FY 2016-17
  4. Challenge: Long-term growth can only be enhanced by structural reforms and improving the productive capacity of the economy

Plans to revive Investment Commission

  1. Context: Centre is planning to revive Investment Commission
  2. Aim: Arresting India’s falling investment rate
  3. Relevance: Earlier, it functioned under the finance ministry from December 2004 to December 2009
  4. In new form, it could be part of NITI Aayog
  5. Function: To make recommendations to govt on policies and procedures to facilitate investment

NITI Aayog: 2nd regional consultation

  1. Context: 2nd Regional Consultations on Agricultural Development in New Delhi
  2. Held by: NITI Task Force on Agricultural Development under the chairmanship of Vice Chair Arvind Panagariya
  3. Demands: southern states pitched for preparation of a model land leasing act and higher remunerative prices for farmers
  4. Other areas: shared best practices in area of agriculture and water resources; river linking and water conservation and harvesting; emphasis on strengthening of agricultural co-operatives

NITI Aayog wants formula to transfer funds to states

NITI Aayog has called for the creation of an objective and transparent formula to distribute central funds to states under the centrally sponsored schemes (CSS)

  1. This is in line with the recommendation of the sub-group on rationalisation of CSS
  2. State govts should have a broad appreciation of the quantum of Central funds that is committed to them scheme-wise
  3. This helps them to plan better and also ensure speedier execution of CSS
  4. Task of creating the formula has been entrusted to a 3-member committee with the secretary of the nodal ministry implementing the CSS as the chairman
  5. NITI Aayog will give its inputs and recommendations based on consultation with all state governments

NDC to be scrapped, NITI Aayog council likely to get its powers

  1. The Cabinet will take up NDCs closure and pass a resolution for transferring its powers to the Governing Council of the NITI Aayog.
  2. PM will take up the resolution with the CMs at a meeting of the Governing Council of the NITI Aayog.
  3. National Development Council (NDC) was setup in 1952 by an executive order.
  4. It served as the highest decision making authority in the country on development matters.

Let’s know more about NITI Aayog?

  1. Union Government had replaced Planning Commission with a new institution named National Institution for Transforming India (NITI Aayog) on 1 January 2015.
  2. The aim is to foster involvement and participation in economic policy-making process by the State Governments, a “bottom-up” approach to planning.
  3. Noted Economist Arvind Panagariya was appointed Vice Chairman of the NITI Aayog.
  4. Economist Bibek Debroy and former DRDO chief V K Saraswat were appointed as full-time members.

Amitabh Kant appointed CEO of NITI Aayog

Decision in this regard was taken by Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC) headed by Prime Minister Modi in New Delhi.

  1. Senior IAS officer Amitabh Kant has been given additional charge as Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of National Institution for Transforming India (NITI) Aayog.
  2. Mr. Kant’s appointment comes after incumbent NITI Aayog CEO Sindhushree Khullar’s extended tenure is coming on 31st December 2015.
  3. Amitabh Kant is IAS officer of 1980 Batch of Kerala Cadre.
  4. Presently, he is serving as Secretary, Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) and is expected to retire in March 2016.

NITI Panel Proposes Agri Reforms to Curb Price Rise

NITI Aayog’s Task Force on Agriculture has recommended big bang reforms to address issue of frequent spurt in crop prices.

  1. Report talks about the need for reforms in the agriculture sector in a big way to address issues.
  2. As Bad weather, fluctuation in crop prices, and demand and supply problems in the long term.

Important Recommendations 

  • Guaranteed prices for at least half the key crops
  • Setting up of a unified national agriculture market
  • Changing land lease laws
  • Mechanism to facilitate easy exit for farmers who want to move out of agriculture.

NITI Aayog panel moots private funding for R&D

A NITI Aayog panel on innovation has recommended that the private sector should help fund R&D, including in research labs at universities and startups.

  1. The panel has also recommended improved tax benefits for investments equivalent to a percentage of corporate profits.
  2. The panel also suggested a ‘Make in Universities’ program which would involve setting up 500 tinkering labs.
  3. It also recommended Grand Prizes approach to finding ultra-low-cost solutions to India’ s most intractable problems.
  4. Incentivised innovation has worked around the world in stimulating innovation.

People’s Planning Campaign and NITI Aayog

  1. Kerala’s People’s Planning Commission (PPC) and the NITI Aayog are similar models of planning.
  2. The PPC was introduced in the mid 1990’s is not fully implemented in Kerala, but fiscal decentralisation is done by PPC while NITI Ayog plays the role of facilitator.

UIDAI shifted to IT ministry from NITI Aayog

  1. Earlier, UIDAI was the part of Planning Commission.
  2. The Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI), which issues Aadhaar cards, has been shifted to the administrative control of the ministry of communication and information technology from NITI Aayog.
  3. Move to shift UIDAI from NITI Aayog is taken keeping in mind govt’s ambitious ‘Digital India’ plan as Aadhaar numbers are being linked with several services
  4. Aadhaar is a 12-digit individual identification number issued by UIDAI.

NITI Aayog plans subsidy regime revamp

  1. NITI Aayog proposes to marry data from Aadhaar, the Jan Dhan accounts & the socio economic & caste census to better target subsidies.
  2. The plan has been inspired by the so-called JAM (Jan Dhan, Aadhaar, Mobile) trinity proposed by the finance ministry.
  3. The estimated direct fiscal cost of both central and state government subsidies is about Rs.3.78 trillion, or about 4.2% of GDP.


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